NZ S15 Conference 'strongest'

2012-03-06 10:41

Christchurch - The Crusaders have rubbished South African claims that the Super Rugby conference system favours New Zealand and Australian sides.

According to the website, the Sharks' New Zealand-born coach John Plumtree said the Australian and New Zealand conferences weren't nearly "as intense as ours here in South Africa".

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said on Monday: "I'd be quite happy to swap with (Plumtree). There are no easy teams in conference rugby.

"At this end, the Highlanders and Crusaders and Chiefs v Blues (in Round 2) showed how fiercely competitive the conference model is," he said. "Wait 'til you get down the track when you have a team ahead and all the other teams with nothing to play for you'll find how tough conference rugby is, because it's basically like an All Black trial.

"She's tough, rugged rugby and one thing about it, too, a lot of pressure produces fine players. Everyone can see how you can handle pressure. It's certainly not easy. It wouldn't get any tougher than our conference."

Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis said New Zealand's conference was "by far the strongest", and was hugely challenging.

"When I was playing the Super 12 and Super 14, those local games, the New Zealand games, were always the toughest by far. That's just been doubled, really.

Ellis admitted "you've got to wonder" if the Australian conference might have been a little easier last year "with the Reds getting to play the Force and the Rebels" twice. "But at the same time, the best team seems to win, still, the Reds probably deserved the title last year."

The South Africa conference had "a couple of weaker sides", which meant the top teams might "get a bit of time off", he said. "Certainly, the New Zealand conference is by far the strongest. We're playing the toughest rugby week-in, week-out."



  • marcus.daily3 - 2012-03-06 10:55

    SA conference is made weaker by the The Cheetahs and to a large extent The Lions. Can't see these two beating any NZ Franchise, in the same way I don't see the Melbourne Rebels beating any Super Rugby Franchise or Varsity Cup team, maybe TUT.

      Francois - 2012-03-06 12:02

      Remember what you said today, Oracle. I think we must swop the two lowest conference teams in SA with those of Aus then they have 6 away games, 4 against the new conference they are joing plus 2 against NZ teams. Then we take a look at it again. That is if you want such an extended S 15. I think an extended S20 with 10 lower teams playing in the old format and 10 higher teams. Then we can have proper tours and a proper CC.

      hvanderlinde - 2012-03-06 12:07

      I saw it happening, last year in bloem.

      Dirk - 2012-03-06 12:28

      Sure, the Cheetahs and the Lions? Wow, I am impressed by the "unstoppable" Sharks and Stormers-LOL The Cheetahs beat the Stormers in a warm-up and what has the Guppies done so far" In two weeks time, the Cheetahs could be on top of the log. Go and comment on netball, where your "skills" are best suited.

      lerouxaa - 2012-03-06 16:08

  • dee.shabalala - 2012-03-06 11:05

    I dont believe so, you can measure by the level of intensity in the Currie Cup to see that SA has by far the challenging conference, I will never discount either the Cheetahs nor the Lions when it is coference based, but maybe you cant bet them winning in Australasia agaisnt top sides there, but Australian one is by far the weakest with Rebels and Force, lets go back to te bashing of 14 games, top four and final, it was only fair......

  • Alexander - 2012-03-06 11:38

    The physical intensity of the rugby has nothing to do with the quality of the rugby. You could play the worst side on earth but if they are a bunch of bruzers, you will feel the damage tomorrow. SA is well known for its big hard and very aggressive players. So I say hats off to our boys. They are brilliant rugby men, the lot of them… Even the stormers ;-)

  • Final.Punishment - 2012-03-06 12:09

    Then why is it that the NFL (32 teams)conference platform works? maybe implement a West vs East conference by adding Argentina and maybe Namibia to the schedule..

      Nico - 2012-03-06 12:43

      NFL works because they have that and their college football. We have super rugby, CC, vodacom cup and varsity cup. Rather make super rugby smaller, round robin competition, and combine CC and vodacom cup, one big CC again.

      Final.Punishment - 2012-03-06 13:08

      @Nico Good idea They can even eliminate the original teams in the super rugby and rather, let’s say, combine Lions with Bulls, Cheetahs with Sharks, Southern Kings and Stormers. making it 3 teams from the South African side. if they really need the 4th team, there are plenty of other clubs to utilize. Opinion given.

      Sean - 2012-03-06 13:39

      @Nico , I also agree with you GOOD IDEA !

      Nico - 2012-03-06 14:15

      I would say the top 3 teams in the CC would play super rugby, so whoever finishes on top play in the super competition. Then they can borrow players from the other unions when they get injuries. That way it will really be SUPER rugby again!

  • Hugh - 2012-03-06 12:22

    What a load of bollox, ours are tougher then your. What are we 12yrs old now?

  • jacquesalthea.knotter - 2012-03-06 18:49

    I say have a champions league in Rugby where the top two of each country at the end of their season ,get to play each other for the ultimate Provincial or Rugby trophy.

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